Humans have long dreamt of creating an ideal society, a Utopia. To do this, we must ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in. And we must believe that we can change the world.
We can change the world, but how?
“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” – Carl Sandburg
Here’s my wishlist for the world. I have already seen some of these things happening in the past few months. And I hope to see much more over the course of my life.
1. People will spontaneously share what they can
- Hotels and restaurants have takeaway counters where the poor can collect food paid for by patrons.
- Children from rich families bring an extra sandwich for their classmates who have no money to buy food.
- Department stores donate last season’s unsold clothes to needy families.
- Families in richer countries adopt families in poorer countries, sponsoring their food and education.
2. Every child has a loving home and family.
- Orphanages are a thing of the past. Adoption is much easier, and families that are able will take in children who have lost their natural parents.
- Parents who are too young or unprepared let their children live in foster homes. Foster parents provide children with better care and allow parents visiting rights.
- Children have access to substitute parents besides their own, in case their own parents fail them. Godparents, or parent groups, could play a larger role.
3. Each person leaves the world a better place than he found it.
- Renewable sources of energy are the norm. Every household has its own solar panel or windmill, resorting to oil-based energy only as a back-up.
- Buildings make use of natural light and promote air ventilation, to reduce reliance on lighting, air-conditioning, heating and other energy guzzlers.
- Everyone cleans up after themselves and others. Picking up trash on the street is an instinctive reaction, instead of leaving it to paid cleaners.
- Visionary statesmen run our government, and countries are run by those competent enough to make prudent decisions.
- Companies who contribute to society’s well-being see their market value rise, because consumers vote for these companies with their wallets.
4. Individuals, organisations and countries spend within their means.
- Financial literacy is part of the school curriculum. All students learn about personal balance sheets, cashflow statements, and interest rates.
- Banks conduct seminars on cashflow management, and allow individuals to apply for loans only after attending these.
- Any person in debt is assigned a qualified financial mentor to assist that person in managing his finances.
- Governments are accountable to other governments for their budgets and expenditure, and learn from each other.
5. The healthy take care of the sick and dying.
- Every person volunteers at a hospital or hospice. We all prepare for our own old age and death by learning from those who go before us.
- Neighbours drop in on the elderly who live alone, so that no one is forgotten or neglected in their old age.
- Grandparents live with their grandchildren, so that children can learn how to take care of the old. They also learn that growing old and dying is normal and a part of life.
- Hospitals and hospices are dispersed throughout the city and suburbs. This allows the sick and dying to remain with the living instead of being shut off somewhere far away from life.
Of course all this won’t be easy to achieve. And everyone may have different versions of the ideal society. But if enough of us dare, and enough of us do, we can change the world.